it’s been just a few days after the fire at organic valley headquarters, but the clean-up ( and soon rebuild ) process is well under way. the parking lot is filled with yellow servicemaster fire and water damage recovery vehicles. the left (west) side from the red gambrel of the building is a total loss, but the right (east) side is salvageable to varying degrees.
the far right side is a new 33,000 square foot addition which was not significantly damaged and may be able to house employees quite quickly after getting a thorough cleaning.
the west end of the building suffered significant damage is will be razed and rebuilt. the fire is still smoldering and flared up last night causing the local volunteer fire department to come back out and douse it with 500,000 gallons of water at 2 a.m.
of course, this whole mess is very personal since i work here! but it’s extra personal to know that kris’ desk is right smack in the middle of this picture on the 2nd floor. so, thankful that she was not in the building and that everyone else got out safely.
sadly, there was a fire at organic valley headquarters yesterday that damaged the west portion of the building pretty badly. luckily, kris and i were not in the building when it was evacuated around 4:10pm. i left at 4:05 in the rideshare van back to viroqua with my computer and phone to get prepared to leave town for a few days for a department retreat. so i’m lucky to have a computer an an internet connection and can keep calm and carry on from home while we figure out the next steps.
looking at the damage from the fire today, i’m so very thankful that everyone got out of the building and that nobody was hurt. while certainly sad to see the damage, property is – of course – replaceable and rebuildable and i have no doubt that the cleanup and rebuild will happen quickly. fortunately, our distribution center and other facilities are fully operational and we have contingency plans in progress so we are able to continue to deliver all the wonderful products you love 🙂
it’s been awesome to hear all the expressions of support from the community, around the state and around the country. i know it really does mean a lot to me and all the other employees.
tomorrow i get to go in and recover what i can from my area which is on the 2nd floor to the right next to the new addition all the way to the right and somewhat distanced from the major damage. kris’ desk is on the 2nd floor pretty much right smack dab in the middle of the worst damage. i doubt she’ll be able to recover anything.
my understanding is that while the rest of the floor looks like a bomb went off, my relatively notorious leaning stack of papers that i’ve been meaning to clean up any day now for the past year that has always been threatening to teeter over is still standing and still threatening to teeter over.
you can view the large version of the panorama to get a better sense of the damage.
i decided to bail on work after getting 4" of rain in 2 hours just a wee bit concerned that i’d get stranded with no clear route home. i didn’t know it at the time, but the roads were officially "closed" adn nobody had time to put up signs.
they say you really shouldn’t drive over water running over a roadway because it’s always moving faster than you think. it’s hard to tell from this photo but the water was moving at a pretty good clip.
i decided to wait and see if the jetta on the other side made it over.
it did, so i went for it, which – really – is The Wrong Decision.
there was an impressive amount of debris across the road a little further down the way from a stream that turned into a torrent and jumped its banks. even more impressive how quickly crews were cleaning it up. thankful i didn’t try to drive through the deluge any sooner and found myself at that spot when the debris came crashing through.
and doubly happy that i didn’t find myself on this hill when the torrent of water coming down the hillside decided to follow the path of least resistance. phew!